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Mozambique: Governement forces kill 36 terrorists in Palma
April 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Mozambique’s Defence and Security Forces say that they have killed 36 insurgents during the terrorist attack on the town of Palma, at the Afungi peninsula in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, home to the site of French multinational Total’s natural gas project.

The forces added that the number might be higher, as the terrorists collected their casualties quickly. The attackers invaded the town on 24 March killing an unknown number of people.

“Up to this moment we have confirmed 36, but the number might be higher” Brigadier Vidigal Chongo told journalists in Palma on Sunday. “The terrorists have a tactic that they use. The first thing when they are dead is to quickly gather their victims to the rear” he added.

Chongo highlighted that the work of clearing the entire perimeter of the town had ended, and that they were now moving on to the phase of recovering the population that had fled to the forests.

He added that it was a critical phase which would require a lot of attention from the Mozambique’s Defence and Security Forces, so as not to allow terrorists to mix with the population and create more disturbances in the town.

The attacks come after Total removed its entire workforce from the site, leaving it in the hands of the FDS. Currently, there are around 30,000 refugees in Afungi.

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Kenyan, Ugandan Truck Drivers End strike, Deliver Cargo to South Sudan
April 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – Ugandan and Kenyan truck drivers have ended their strike and finally agreed to deliver cargo to South Sudan after two weeks of protests over killings of some colleagues and general insecurity.

This was after the truck drivers refused to cross into South Sudan over the killing of their colleagues (Ugandan and Kenyan truck drivers) along the major highways such as  the Juba-Nimule highway, Juba-Mundri, and Yei-Juba roads.

This was reached after two days of negotiations between Ugandan and South Sudanese security chiefs at the border.

Early this week, hundreds of trucks delivering essential commodities to Juba parked at the Elegu border post on the Ugandan side as drivers demanded assurances from the Ugandan government over safety concerns in South Sudan.

This prompted a meeting of truck drivers and security chiefs of the two countries.

After two days of discussions, the South Sudanese government agreed to provide security to all truck drivers plying the main highways linking the two countries.

The South Sudan People Defend Force  (SSPDF) said they will now station soldiers along the roads connecting Juba to Nimule, to Yei up to Kaya –to ensure safe passage for travelers and commercial goods and services after a recent spate of ambushes and killings. 

They also agreed illegal checkpoints will be removed to ease the movement of trucks along major highways in South Sudan.

Business and traders said the government should continue to provide security to truck drivers along major highway to mitigate the soaring commodity prices in the market. 

More than 10 people including foreigners were killed and three trucks were set ablaze last week. 

Since yesterday, hundreds of trucks and cargos has arrived in Juba.

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Sierra Leone: A Time To Review And Take Sport Seriously
April 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joe Pessima

For over 25 years, the Leone stars of Sierra Leone have not qualified for the prestigious African Cup of Nations tournament. Although the match didn’t play on the scheduled date (with controversy of COVID-19 test result in the way), it was a day of great significance. A deeply polarized nation was brought together by football. Seven million people were in bated breath in anticipation of a history making moment – where we become the sole deciders of our footballing fate. It is without doubt our darling Leone stars pull us all together in unity of purpose without regard to our common enemies of politics, religion, region etc. How much we can learn from that!

Let me digress. Sport has a unique and an unquantifiable impact in society. Be it a community causes to the inspiring of children from deprived regions, sport influences the lives of people on daily basis. In 2011, after Cristiano Ronaldo won the European golden shoe, he sold it at an auction for £1.2 million and donated the money towards building schools in war-torn Gaza.

Sport is a mega billion-dollar industry. In 2018, the global sports market was valued at approximately 471 billion U.S. dollars (Statista Research Department, 2020). The annual New York City marathon boosted the city’s economy to the tune of $340 million. Apart from its revenue generating ability, the sports industry in America produced 456,000 jobs with an average salary of $39,000 (Economic modeling specialist Intl.).

Back to Sierra Leone and sport. The importance of sport in the lives of Sierra Leoneans cannot be overemphasized. The New Direction manifesto listed sports as one of its sub-pillars in youth empowerment. It highlighted nine action points that will be implemented within a five-year mandate of the SLPP led government. This is so because President Julius Maada Bio believes that sports play an integral role in national development.

“The Government of Sierra Leone recognizes the enormous benefit sport provides and therefore acknowledges its importance in sustaining peace, building social and national cohesion, and creating enormous economic potential (job creation, income generation and stability), especially for young people. The relevance of sport has been neglected by successive governments and the entire society” (National Development plan 2019-2023).”

As President Bio has clocked three years in Office, it is necessary that we evaluate the impact his government has created in Sports. In the 2021 Citizen’s budget, the sum of Le 2.3 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Sports to cover the thirty-six sporting disciplines. Sadly, this is an extremely meager sum when compared to the ‘youth car wash project’ that enjoys the sum of 8.0 billion Leones. It is difficult to ascertain if the Bio administration has significantly increased budgetary allocation to Sports.

However, whilst they complain about a tight national budget in justifying the inadequate allocation, the Ministry of Finance intermittently allocates king-sized amounts to selected sporting disciplines upon qualification to international tournaments. In a Press release from the Ministry of Finance, the public was informed that from April 2018 to date, “the Government has disbursed 68,318,694,632.75 to the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Authority for the PROMOTION, DEVELOPMENT and INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION of different sporting disciplines in the country.”

In his manifesto to the people of Sierra Leone, President Bio made several promises in relation to sports development.  He vowed to establish sport academies and provide facilities for sports development and recreation around the country. Currently, there is no functional football academy nor has Minister Ibrahim Nyelenkeh started any project of such.

Furthermore, the President promised to establish a sports development fund. In my research, there is no existing sports development fund in Sierra Leone.

The Inter-Secondary School sports meet was one of the most anticipated events for talent sourcing and it provided valued recreational opportunities to school going children. Reactivating it and other community activities was another marvelous hope given to the people of Sierra Leone, but it is yet to be delivered upon.

Alongside the resumption of national competition for all sporting disciplines, the President also promised to build standard stadium facilities in ALL regions including Western Rural communities in order to enhance the capacity of Sierra Leoneans in sport. All of these still remain in black and white as his mandate nears the end.

Undoubtedly, though, the Ministry of Sports and NSA has enjoyed over Sixty-Eight billion Leones in financial support from the Government with little or no evidential impact to show for it. Even so, it is not too late for a change in the direction of the New Direction. It is in my opinion that the policy and legal environment for sports development have to be reviewed. Before the end of 2021, the President should commit into having a national sports transformation conference in which experts will brainstorm the way forward.

The local councils have to be included if gainful transformation is to be achieved. Right across the country, very few schools can boast of having at least two recreational facilities for different sporting disciplines. Most communities are only proud of a football field and in most cases, it is the field of these schools that double as community playground. No wonder the infrastructure in these schools wears out quickly.

Conclusively, the major problem we face as a nation is the unwillingness to start our building blocks from ground zero. To attain an enviable height in any sporting discipline, we have to catch the talents at a tender age. Physical Health Education on Fridays should be reinstated across all schools. It will take 10-20 years of planning, monitoring & evaluation and deliberate investment if we are going to talk about sustainable and life changing gains. Generations before have failed us but we owe it to the next to prepare a solid foundation. We have to provide the enabling environment that will allow talents to decide their career pathway.

For far too long, our society has regrettably regarded University degrees as the only meaningful glory children can bring to their families. This moribund policy and inflexible system has left an insurmountable pressure on government for employment opportunities. Not everybody can be a Davidson-Nicol. Sierra Leone is in dire need of Mohamed Kallons, Cristiano Ronaldos, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Anthony Joshuas too!

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COVID-19 Vaccine, Christian Right End-time Prophecy, and Conspiracy Theory
April 11, 2021 | 2 Comments

By Primus M. Tazanu

Dr Primus M. Tazanu is an anthropologist and Senior Guest Researcher at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

This article pivots around COVID-19 and its vaccine with the main point focusing on a claim by the Christian right that taking a COVID-19 vaccine may prepare your body and soul for an afterlife of eternal damnation. They believe the only way to avert everlasting doom is to refuse the vaccine. This trajectory of the Christian right anti-vaccine campaign further posits that there is a furtive plot by sinister forces behind COVID-19 vaccine to swindle human souls to Satan. Secondly, I state that these anti-vaccine campaigns that have garnered enough traction online and are cautioning the uptake of new inventions, are not new. My last argument cites examples as a way of demonstrating an anti-vaccine conspiracy theory may draw from concrete histories.

I use the term Christian right (CR) advisedly to refer to Christian fundamentalists found predominantly in Pentecostal and charismatic wings of Christianity. In relation to Africa where I draw my examples, several philosophies of the Christian right have overwhelmingly infiltrated and influenced the (Christian) religious views and practices, leading scholars to talk of an African Pentecostalite space. Concerning the present pandemic, how do we address some of these religious views that we now subsume under the general rubric of conspiracy theory? I will first flesh out the deeper meaning surrounding this belief that the vaccine alters the eternal destination of Christians and then, turn to an anthropological reading of how people respond to crises.

As children, we would, out of mischief, pull tricks on our chickens when we wished for free eggs. We touched the chickens’ fresh eggs, hoping that the hen would reject them. After observing for a while, and if we were lucky, the chicken would refuse to incubate the touched eggs. We then informed our parents about the development and they, in turn, told us to collect the rejected eggs. This trick worked only occasionally. Among the Christian right, the narrative surrounding COVID-19 vaccine runs on similar lines: God rejecting His (Christian God is male) children. Why God rejects those inoculated is because, suspects the Christian right, the vaccine transforms these individuals into new humans, unrecognizable by their creator. 

Since their bodies (and spirits) have been tampered with the vaccine, those vaccinated in turn have their bodies and spirits align more with malevolent forces; they are in Satan’s camp, so to speak. These unfortunate victims become pawns in the hands of the devil whose sole motive is to deceive, molest and torture. This sounds bleak and ominous, but you only need to turn to the bible to see where such interpretation is coming from, as some Christian rights cautiously associate the vaccine with the apocalyptic 666, the famous mark of the beast mentioned in the Revelation (13:17-18), the last book of the bible. This dreaded section of the Holy Book tells how buying and selling is reserved only to those having the mark of the beast. Push this a little further and you will reach this conclusion: you cannot succeed in conducting any transaction in the world unless you have a COVID-19 vaccine in your body. It sounds like the prophecy in the Revelation. Or does it?

A while ago, I mentioned that the Christian right cautiously associates the vaccine with eschatology for a good reason; linking the vaccine with the end times would denote what some Christians believe as rapture must have taken place. By rapture, they mean God has already sucked up his unpolluted children from the corrupt earth, suggesting being in a situation where you must take the vaccine/666 is already a post-rapture era. This is an interesting twist, a pyrrhic conundrum the CR conspiracy theory finds hard to resolve. No Christian right dare thinks the rapture has occurred. Those familiar with this version of Christianity in Africa would confirm that they always see themselves as the pure, the elect, and chosen children of God. Anyone, including non-fundamentalist Christians, not abiding by their dogma easily falls into the category of the infidel, those the Christian right speculates would not make heaven. To live in a period they interpret as post-apocalyptic is to admit that they share that world with the rejected, those that were left behind after the rapture.

For the Christian right, it is never a matter of doubt if they are the privileged children of God. They arrogate their proximity to God to set standards on what they consider as rightful Christian discourse. This is seen in the ways in which they – consciously or unconsciously – intimidate lukewarm Christians and non-Christians that they (CR) have direct access to God. We only need to turn to social media to understand what I am saying here. These media platforms are awash with countless god-told-me prophecies and Christian right anti-vaccine campaigners habitually draw their energies from the god-told-me narrative to place a curse on the vaccine and the forces behind it. Come to think of the god-told-me doctored and graphic images, the deepfake, the videos, text, and voiceovers that urge Christians to fight back at the evil forces promoting the vaccine technology. This attempt at saving their communities, admittedly, draws on supposedly personal revelations from God. And since the messages are delivered to them personally – usually in dreams – it is convenient for anyone to invoke God to convey divine anti-vaccine missives, presenting the jab as a temptation, as one of the many spiritual objects understandable in these binaries: good/bad, benevolence/malevolence, heaven/hell, God/Satan, pure/polluted, etc. Because satisfactory answers in relation to COVID-19 are sometimes hard to come by, added to the speed at which unverified information circulates online, what the Christian right is doing is simply asking questions and casting doubts in the minds of people. How the coronavirus spreads, whom it kills the most, the speed with which the COVID-19 vaccine was developed, the manufacturers’ concurrent announcement (collusion?) of the vaccine roll-out, the paranoia of the lockdown, further lend a speculative substrate on which their conspiracy theory thrives.

One must admit that Christian right COVID-19 conspiracy theory follows a consistent trend of their suspicions of inventions. For example, even as they are reputed as avid users of new media technologies, the Christian right has, at times, had this struggle to accept technologies from the onset. Not long ago, they suspected personal media identities such the mobile phone numbers, Facebook, and email accounts introduced users to an evil online world. In my research on mediated Pentecostalism, I have heard people testify that Facebook and chat rooms initiated them into a demonic world of promiscuity and unquenchable sexual desires. Perhaps, this is just an addiction to sex, but beaming a Christian ray on their experience lends it a necessary mystical dread, allowing the pastors to intervene as expert exorcists. Anyone watching the Pentecostal scene in Africa quickly realizes that these exorcisms are instantly mediated (and shared) on social media platforms. In fact, take away social media, the smartphone and TV from the pastors and that would, undeniably, be almost the end of their world.

From the online material shared by, and about the pastors, we easily notice that these leaders have developed a personality cult. We get to understand they have the supernatural powers to see, hear, perceive, feel, etc. As mentioned before, we get the impression that they are privy to God’s mind. Challenge CR leaders who associate 5G with COVID-19 and the response you get from some of their followers – inspired by Jesus chiding people who do not see beyond the face value – is that you are blind and incapable of seeing what their pastors see. For many followers, whatever a pastor Christianizes is an incontestable truth. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, an all too familiar scenario has emerged whereby the pastors beef up their relevance by staying in the spotlight, lead conversations, and most of all, exercise influence over their audience. They cannot imagine a world in which they do not speak about events that affect their followers and in doing so, some of them set themselves as experts on everything, even if what they say is premised on falsehood. Again, think of this assertion that 5G network causes COVID-19 or that COVID-19 is a strategy to lockdown places, keep people indoors while authorities embed 5G cables into the earth. Yet again, challenge this assertion and you will be accused of propagating fake news.

Though the conspiracy theory may not have as its main point, the jumbling of what appears to be generally accepted knowledge, it would sound uninformed to completely dismiss some of the grounds on which it draws its doubts. Even if it does not turn out to be true, a conspiracy theory may be based on prior experiences. Take the case of black people. That many of them easily lend ears to treacheries surrounding COVID-19 is not unfounded; historical records exist on how their bodies have been abused in the name of improving medicine and science. A few recollections: remember the Tuskegee untreated syphilis experiment on black men as well as the American gynecological practices whereby black pregnant women’s bodies were abused for the sake of scientific advancement? Or a South African mercenary group – posing as medical practitioners – spreading HIV/AIDS among black South Africans during the apartheid period? For sure, these harrowing histories linger in the memories of black people and their skepticism of COVID-19 vaccine cannot be dismissed as unfounded.

The point I am emphasizing here is that, if black people shun the hospital or do not want to participate in drug clinical trials, it is not because they do not believe in science; they may just be skeptical of the scientists. It is because they read deeper meanings when influential figures like Melinda Gates says (rightly or wrongly) that blacks and people of colour should be among the first folks to get the vaccine. Who does not remember a French doctor suggesting that a repurposed drug used to treat tuberculosis patients could be tried on Africans to see if it works against the coronavirus? Add this rhetoric to the many rumours and misinformation that circulate online and what you observe is an apprehensive black population. For people who have had an uncomfortable encounter with the medical and scientific establishments, rumours that the vaccine sterilizes black people, causes miscarriage in black women, compromises their genes and that it is a eugenics venture to reduce the black population, are terrifying.

Anthropologists have long understood that in times of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, people grapple to make meaning of the world around them by turning to what they know and for the Christian right, the bible is a perfect repository from where they draw valuable coping instructions. What the Christian right leaders are doing is Christianize our understanding of this pandemic, grounding it within a framework of skepticism and by so doing, maintain a certain degree of social integration among their followers. Emile Durkheim, an early 20th-century French sociologist would probably agree to this. Similarly, Victor Turner would see the pastors’ conspiracy narrative surrounding COVID-19 as an attempt by these church leaders to manage social change and restore social order in an apparently chaotic situation.

How people check the boxes on what COVID-19 (and its vaccine) is, how it came about, the direction it is leading the world to, etc., are primarily animated by their interpretations of the diseases. Most of the conspiracy theories simply hypothesize the virus is not necessarily a health crisis. And what we realize is that those propagating these theories do all they can to emotionalize their audience, making it hard at times to engage them in non-emotional conversations. Imagine debating a shouter who steadfastly believes the vaccine alters people’s spiritual makeup or that it spreads through 5G network! What underlies most of these conspiracies is rebellion steeped in profound mistrust. For the Christian right, resisting the vaccine is the surest way of keeping the human being untainted and therefore, recognizable by the creator.  It would be interesting if similar narratives emerge in relation to other vaccines and drugs. For how long some of them – staunch anti-vaxxers – will resist COVID-19 vaccine is all a matter of speculation.

*Dr Primus M. Tazanu is an anthropologist and Senior Guest Researcher at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on social practices and the production of meanings through media technologies:  new/social media and sociality/governance, media and Pentecostalism as well as media and racism.

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South Sudan President Kiir Replaces Army Chief, Security Chief
April 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

General Santino Deng Wol.

Juba – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has named a new army chief and a security chief follow soaring insecurity along the country’s major highways.

In a presidential decree, broadcasted on the state – owned television the country’s army chief General Johnson Juma Akot was replaced with General Santino Deng Wol.

The president also assigned former army chief Johnson Juma into the foreign service as grade one ambassador to Belgium.

The new chief is not new to the military. He has been serving as Assistant Chief of Defense for administration and finance.

Wol was first promoted from lieutenant-general to general before his new post.

Gen. Thomas Duoth was relieved from his position as Director-General of the General Intelligence Bureau, National Security Service, and replaced by Maj. Gen. Simon Yien Makuac, a senior SPLA-IO commander.

Duoth was reassigned to Kuwait as a grade one ambassador.

The President also dismissed Minister of Presidential Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial and appointed Dr. Barnaba Marial as his replacement.

Kiir also relieved a deputy defense and Veteran’s minister Malek Reuben Riak and replaced with Chol Thon Balok. Gen. Malek assigned to Eritrea as grade one ambassador.

No reason was provided for their dismissal but a source in the office of the president said the move was part of normal changes by the president.

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A South Korea-based International NGO Advocates a Forum for Peace Dialogue by Stakeholders in Myanmar
April 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
Nai Kasauh Mon, CEO of Mon News Agency

An international NGO named HWPL, headquartered in South Korea and affiliated with the UN ECOSOC, issued a statement expressing deep concern about the crisis of human rights arising from the recent military coup and mass protests in Myanmar, calling for the international community to join in efforts to support peaceful approach to resolve the current conflict in the country.

On the “HWPL Statement on Human Rights Crisis in Myanmar”, the organization announced that global actors of the globe with one voice are encouraged to display their support for conflict resolution through the channel of dialogue between the military and civil society actors.

In the statement it said hundreds of deaths and injuries were caused by “the recent efforts of the Myanmar military to suppress nonviolent protests” and highlights that “no conflict of interest can justify violence against civilians, and no interest of any group can prevail over human life.”

It asked all parties in Myanmar to “settle the crisis through consensus based on mutual respect and understanding” and “engage in dialogue to seek a peaceful resolution.” And it further asked global actors to “to issue statements urging authorities and civilians in Myanmar to pursue dialogue and seek a peaceful solution in order to restore peace to the country.”

“The number of deaths from protests exceeded 200, and more than 2,000 people have been arrested by the military. We, the people of Myanmar are very glad Korean people and HWPL, as a peace advocate, supports our democracy and peace movement. Currently, we are demanding international pressure against the military regime, in order to stop their brutality against peaceful demonstrators,” said Kasauh Mon, CEO of Mon News Agency in Myanmar.

Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL

For the past five years, this international civil society advocacy for peacebuilding led by HWPL has shown support and initiatives at the national and international levels. The organization collected over 730,000 letters written by citizens in 176 countries to call for development of peace in each country, which led government and social leaders to express their support and engagement.

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French historian Duclert hands over the voluminous report on Genocide against the Tutsi to President Kagame
April 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

President Kagame received the report from prof. Vincent Duclert on Friday

The French historian Prof. Vincent Duclert on Friday submitted to the Rwandan President Paul Kagame a voluminous report on the role of France in the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.

“President Kagame receives a President Kagame today {Friday) received French Historian Vincent Duclert, who presented the report titled France, Rwanda and the Genocide Against the Tutsi. The report was commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron two years ago and was done by a team of 13 researchers and historians,” reads a Friday Tweet from the president’s office.

Released on March 26, 2021, the report reveals an ‘Overwhelming and heavy responsibility’ over the 1994 Genocide but denied any evidence of French complicity in committing genocide.

President Emmanuel Macron formed a commission of 13 experts led by Prof. Vincent Duclert to consult all France’s archives relating to the genocide” and “analyze the role and engagement of France between 1990 and 1994.

Early last week President Macron joined Rwanda and its people as a commemoration week started to morn over one million innocent people who lost their lives.

He said that France has committed to opening all archives related to the relationship and exchanges between Rwanda and France before and during the Genocide.

“April 7 is a national day of remembrance and meditation. We think of the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, the survivors, their families, the Rwandan people. The work of truth must continue through the opening of archives of this period,” Said President Macron.

President Macron granted rights of opening presidential archives of Francois Mitterrand relating to Rwanda between 1990 and 1994.

The access, according to France was extended to archives of Édouard Balladur and to the documents cited in the report of Duclert Commission.

Balladur is a French politician who served as Prime Minister of France under François Mitterrand from 29 March 1993 to 10 May 1995.

President Kagame has blamed the former French officials of unwillingness to reveal the truth on France’s role in genocide and welcomed the current government led by President Macron move to reveal the truth.

“Recently, a commission of historians appointed by the French government released a detailed report after reading official archives that had remained secret. The report shows that President Mitterrand and his closest advisers knew that genocide against Tutsi was being planned by their allies in Rwanda,” he said as he launched the commemoration period last week on April 7, 2021.

“Despite that knowledge, the president decided to continue supporting them, because he believed this was necessary for France’s geopolitical position. Rwandan lives were just pawns in geopolitical games. We welcome this report because it marks an important step toward a common understanding of what took place,” he added.

He added it also marked a change, showed the desire, even for leaders in France, to move forward with a good understanding of what happened.

“We welcome this. We are going to have the report presented to us; I have been informed about it. It is a good thing. Rwanda will also have a word to say in the near future, maybe around the third week of this month,” he noted.

He said there were findings on the Rwandan side based on the work that has been done by people who were commissioned to do that in parallel to what was being done in France  stressing that the findings go in the same direction.

“The important thing is to continue working together to document the truth. This is the truth. The decades-long effort by certain French officials to cover up their responsibilities has caused significant damage,” Kagame concluded.

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Cameroon Native Set For Installation as Bishop in the US Virgin Islands
April 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

 By Joseph Besong

Jerome Feudjio is the First African-Born Bishop appointed in the United States of America.

Jerome Feudjio , a native of Cameroon precisely from Dschang in the West province is on his set to make history with his imminent installation as Bishop in the US Virgin Islands. The  new Bishop-Elect was appointed by Pope Francis for the Diocese of Saint Thomas  in the US, Virgin Islands recently.  He was ordained priest by His Eminence Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Diocese of Saint Thomas on September 29,1990.

 His numerous pastoral and administrative assignments in the Diocese include serving as Vicar General, the Moderator of the curia, the Vicar for Clergy and Vocations, and the Rector of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. On March 2nd, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed him as the 6th Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Thomas in the US, Virgin Islands. He is the First African-Born Bishop appointed in the United States of America. 

On April 16,2021 Msgr.Jerome Feudjio will be installed and ordained as the Bishop of Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. The Cameroonian population as well as a cross section of African faithful are expected to play a significant role in the ordination either in person or in spirit. This is indeed an indication that the Church in Africa has grown. Africa now sends in missionaries to the United States, Europe, and Asia.

 The news of an immigrant Bishop was received with joy especially in the United States. The humble Bishop-Elect has proven beyond thought that Africa is a blessed land. The task of a Bishop is not easy but with prayer all things are possible. 

The  Episcopal  Ordination and Installation will be broadcast live via www.cathedralvi.org or on local EWTN, Channel 7.

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Mozambique: Number of refugees from Palma rises to 12,800; Nyusi appoints ministerial task-force
April 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

About 12,800 refugees have now left the town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province following the recent terrorist attacks on the town, of whom 43% are children, a spokesman for the United Nations (UN) has said.

The UN had provided help to 500,000 people in Cabo Delgado since the beginning of the year and was closely monitoring new reports of violence against civilians, beheadings and the use of child soldiers, he added.

The secretary-general of the UN, António Guterres, said that the organisation was working with Mozambique to help address the root causes of the violence and respond to immediate humanitarian needs. The UN urgently needed $254m to fund its humanitarian response plan to help 1.1m people, he added.

Due the situation, seven ministers and one secretary of state make up a task-force created by President Filipe Nyusi to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by terrorism, in particular the attacks on the town of Palma.

They are defence minister Jaime Neto, interior minister Amade Miquidade, education minister Carmelita Namashulua, agriculture minister Celso Correia, trade and industry minister Carlos Mesquita, health minister Armindo Tiago, minister of state administration Ana Comoana, and the secretary of state for youth and employment, Osvaldo Petersburgo.

Meanwile, on Thursday, leaders from Southern African countries have agreed to immediately send a technical team to Mozambique to assess what it needs to fight terrorism in the north of the country.

The team is due to arrive in Mozambique by 16 April and must report back to ministers by 28 April, who in turn will report to an SADC security summit on 29 April.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa went further than the official communique, telling reporters that the leaders “agreed that the SADC Force should be resuscitated and capacitated immediately so that it can intervene.”

SADC’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) is made up of troops from South Africa, Tanzania, and Malawi.

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UNHCR finally gives road map on definite closure of Kenyan refugee camps
April 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

UNHCR’s Representative in Kenya Fathiaa Abdalla

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has recommended measures to solve the impasse surrounding refugees at Dadaab and Kakuma camps in Northern Kenya.

“We have heard the concerns expressed by the Government of Kenya and hope that these measures will be a significant step forward in accelerating sustainable solutions for all those concerned,” said UNHCR’s Representative in Kenya Fathiaa Abdalla.

Last month Kenyan government announced its intention to close the two world’s largest refugee camps citing security threats, a directive that has elicited mixed reactions.

The UN refugee agency is now advocating for voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity while putting into account movement restrictions imposed in various regions to avert the spread of the Covid-19.

It has also proposed providing alternative-stay arrangements to refugees from the East African Community (EAC) to enable them to become self-reliant and contribute to the local community.

UNHCR further suggested resettlement to third countries a few refugees who cannot return home and face protection risks.

The agency also called for speedy issuance of national identity cards to more than 11,000 Kenyans who have previously been identified as registered in the refugee database and continued vetting process for others in similar circumstances.

Abdalla added that they would continue with dialogue and collaboration with local authorities and partners.

This comes just a day after the country’s High Court suspended the camps’ closure for 30 days pending hearing and determination of a petition filed by a local politician.

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Cameroon: No UN Security Meeting in Sight for the Anglophone Crisis
April 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

UN Security Council. Archive image

As the violence and killings continue in the North West and South West Regions of the country the UN Security Council has indicated that the crisis is not on their agenda anytime soon. The body has, however, made known the situation that will get the Security Council to talk about it and that will only be the degeneration of the crisis.

The revelation was made known by the current UN Security Council Chief for April, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy at the council’s press conference for April on conflicts and crises in the world

“There is no plan as of right now for the Security Council to have a meeting on Cameroon,” said the official according to the World Federation of United Nations Association, WFUNA

“… If the situation on the ground worsens and warrants a meeting, then the Security Council will meet and address the issue,” the Vietnamese diplomat was quoted further.

Judith Nwana, member of the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiation while questioning the diplomat said.… the humanitarian and human rights situation in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon is worsening by the day…We are pleading for you to bring up the conflict for discussion at the Security Council. How possible is that?” she quizzed

This recent announcement by the UN Security Council Chief only goes to dampen the aspirations of those who have been fighting for a breakaway state of “Ambazonia”.

In a tweet Mark Bareta, one of the Anglophone activists abroad said: “We have wasted 2 years seeking international recognition to no avail. Can you believe the UN Security Council has just declared that the Anglophone crisis is not even on their agenda any time soon?”

The Anglophone crisis has led to thousands displaced from their homes

“The UN Security Council has largely kept silent on the crisis,” a group of nine human rights campaigners including Human Rights Watch said about the slow response of the Security Council on the matter. “Without expeditious action, the situation is likely to worsen,” they further warned.

On the 15 of January this year, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged authorities in Cameroon to take steps to prosecute perpetrators behind two recent deadly attacks in the Anglophone Regions of the country.

“The Secretary-General urges the Cameroonian authorities to take all necessary measures to swiftly bring the perpetrators of both attacks to justice and enhance the protection of civilians”, the note said

The UN chief also reiterated his call on all parties to cease hostilities and engage in a political dialogue to end the crisis.

About the Anglophone Crisis

Long-running tensions in the English-speaking North West and South West Regions of Cameroon erupted into conflict in late 2016, prompting crackdowns by security forces and leaving 1.3 million people in need of aid, according to the United Nations.

Cameroon’s English speakers have felt increasingly marginalized by the French-speaking government. The military stepped in and thousands of Anglophones fled the ensuing crackdown, which Cameroon authorities described as an anti-terrorist operation.

A U.N. human rights committee in February criticized the “heavy-handed approach” of the security forces to the crisis, which saw medical facilities, schools and entire villages destroyed.

Allegra Baiocchi, the then U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator in Cameroon, said the violence was hampering relief efforts, and also blamed a lack of funding from other countries.

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Cardinal Christian Tumi: An Ardent Lover of Peace in Cameroon
April 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cardinal Christian Tumi

The retired Roman Catholic Cardinal, Christian Tumi died in Douala on Friday, April 2 breaking Saturday, April 3, 2021, after what reports say of a brief illness. He was 91-years-old by the time of his death.

Many have described him as a veritable servant of God as for over 40 years his life was devoted to winning souls to Christ. Cardinal Tumi has been vocal in calling for dialogue and peace as the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions entered its fifth year.

The Archbishop of the Douala Metropolitan Archdiocese, Mgr Samuel Kleda has announced that the funeral of His Eminence Christian Cardinal Tumi will take place from the 19th to the 20th of April 2021 in Douala.

“Christian Cardinal Tumi was the first and only Cameroonian Cardinal. He was a staunch advocate for a just society, a defender of the rights of the oppressed, suppressed and marginalized. His death is a great loss to our nation and humanity. May he find eternal rest in the Lord,” Felix Agbor Nkongho “Balla”, Human Rights Lawyer and activist said.

Cardinal Tumi with Agbor Balla during a workshop organized by CHRDA in Buea

“His Eminence Christian Cardinal Tumi was not just a religious leader within Cameroon but a father to many including me, I have lost an icon. Papa Tumi was a man of the people; he went beyond religious boundaries, descended and transcended religious boundaries…” Rt Rev Fonki Samuel Forba, PCC Moderator told a CRTV journalist as he paid homage to the fallen Cardinal.

“All I pray is that we religious leaders in Cameroon should be able to emulate him, carry on his legacies and keep them to the end. The legacies of bringing peace in our land, the legacies of justice, transparency and accountability, the legacies of being the voice of the voiceless and the legacies of bringing Cameroon into a united front…” He added.

A veritable Peace crusader

Cardinal Tumi was an ardent lover of peace and was one of those who were championing the peaceful resolution of the ongoing Anglophone crisis. He amongst other Christian Bodies like the PCC, Baptist, and the Imam of Buea initiated the All Anglophone General Conference, though the conference did not see the light of day as it was banned by the Cameroon government.

Cardinal Tumi was also amongst those who participated in the Major National Dialogue, a dialogue many have lambasted as having no barring in solving the crisis. During this meeting, a host of resolutions were taken in solving the crisis and some of them are being instituted, though observers say the government is not tackling the crisis as it should be doing.

His relentless efforts for peace have often seen him on the cross-hair of those fighting for separation. The cardinal had sometimes been accused of siding with the government of Cameroon and was even abducted by the non-state armed fighters.

In his recent outing to his village Nso, on Thursday, November 5, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. he was intercepted and abducted by the liberation fighters in Ndop; he was detained in their camp overnight for questioning (and released the following day), together with the Paramount Fon of Nso, His Majesty Fon Sehm Mbinglo (whose release took place later on Tuesday 10). They were on their way to broker peace deals in the village of Nso which has been hard-hit by the current socio-political crisis rocking the country, but unfortunately, their mission was never fulfilled.

In his last book titled: My Night in Captivity, he narrates his ordeal in the camp of his abductors. In an interview with ACI Africa Tuesday, January 12, the co-author of Cardinal Tumi’s memoir, Martin Jumbam said that it was important for the Cardinal to narrate his experience with the kidnappers because “the government has always suspected him of supporting opposition forces in Cameroon.”

“… In the book, the Cardinal makes his position very clear that he does not support these guys in the bush although the government suspected him of being one of the supporters because he tells the separatists, very clearly, that he does not support what they are doing,” Jumbam said.

Cardinal Tumi with SDF’s Ni John Fru Ndi during the Major National Dialogue in Cameroon

Who was Cardinal Christian?

Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop emeritus of Douala (Cameroon), was born on 15 October 1930 in Kikaikelaki, a small village in the Nso Clan, situated in the Northwest Region, of Cameroon. He resigned as Archbishop of Douala in 2009 after being head since 1991.

He was ordained a priest on 17 April 1966 (at 35) in Soppo, diocese of Buea, by Bishop Julius Joseph Willem Peeters † M.H.M. From 1966 to 1967 he carried out his ministry as a parochial vicar at Fiango (Kumba). From 1967 to 1969 he taught at the Bishop Rogan College minor seminary. In 1973, after having studied abroad, he returned to his diocese and was named rector of the major regional seminary of Bambui, archdiocese of Bamenda. He was also chaplain to the Catholic Women Association and was very involved in promoting the ecumenical movement, obtaining much esteem from Presbyterians and Baptists.

He was elected on 23 April 1982 vice-president of the National Episcopal Conference, and on 19 November 1982, he was promoted to Coadjutor Archbishop of Garoua. On March 17 1984 he was made Archbishop.

In 1985 he was elected as president of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (until 1991). He also served as president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), 1990-1994.

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Cameroon: 200,000 Doses of Chinese Sinopharm Vaccine Arrive April 11
April 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Mass testing have been employed by officials in Cameroon against the coronavirus

With the country said to be in its second wave of coronavirus officials in Cameroon say the first doses of vaccine against the health pandemic will arrive in the country on April 11. Cameroon is said to receive 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.

Over 500 vaccination centres that will be involved in administering the vaccines have been identified across the country. Dr Shalom Ndoula, Permanent Secretary of the Expanded Program on Immunization says the vaccines will be dispatched to these vaccination centres as soon as they arrive in the country.

This will be the first phase of vaccination exercise in the country and people don’t need to take the jab. Frontline health caregivers, teachers, taxi and bus drivers, and motorbike riders are among the target groups of persons to receive the vaccines. Authorities say other persons willing to be administered the vaccine will be permitted to do so after the persons at risks should have been vaccinated.

Dr Shalom Ndoula said: “The first vaccination will be just for a small group of people who are at risk, and very exposed especially people with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, which are at high risk of severe forms of COVID.”

The arrival of this vaccine will be to fulfil a promise the Chinese Ambassador made to Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations. In early March, the Chinese Ambassador to Cameroon, Wang Yingwu had a meeting with the Minister of External Relations, Lejuene Mbella Mbella, during which he announced that his country will offer 200,000 samples of the COVID19 vaccines to Cameroon.

This is a major shift for a country that continues to see cases on an upward trajectory. It is also a major shift in the type of vaccine that the country will be receiving.

A few weeks back, Russia had indicated that their Sputnik V vaccine will be sent to Cameroon after the country declined the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to complications.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announced the approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cameroon on March 19 2021. The government of Cameroon has yet to officially confirm this information and the Minister of Public Health is also muted on the matter.

Chinese Sinopharm Vaccine

“Africa is among the leaders in terms of the number of approval of Sputnik V. We welcome the decision of the Ministry of Health of Cameroon which will help the population of the country to obtain access to one of the best solutions against coronavirus in the world,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russia Direct Investment Fund said as quoted by Pharmieweb.

According to the Minister of Public Health Dr Manaouda Malachie the country currently has a total of 61, 731 cases of COVID-19 with 56, 926 have recovered. There have been 919 deaths since the first cases were detected in the country in March last year.

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Big blow to Kenyan government as court halts closure of Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps
April 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The actions intended by the directive are draconian and will expose the lives of innocent, helpless refugees to the danger of trauma, torture, harm and possible loss of life,says Gichira

Kenya’s High Court on Thursday temporarily suspended the state’s directive to have Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps closed.

Justice Antony Mrima issued the order pending the hearing and determination of an application filed by former presidential aspirant Peter Gichira challenging the government’s decision.

Gichira said the directive violates Kenya’s Constitution, International Laws, and treaties protecting refugee rights in his application.

“The actions intended by the directive are draconian and will expose the lives of innocent, helpless refugees to the danger of trauma, torture, harm and possible loss of life,” says Gichira.

He wants the court to stop the enforcement of the directive permanently.

The case will be mentioned on April 13, 2021.

Kenyan government gave UNHCR a 14-day ultimatum to develop a plan on the closure of the two camps, which host 196 000 (Dadaab) and 217,000 (Kakuma) refugees, respectively citing security threat.

Interior Cabinet Secretary told the UN agency that there is no room for negotiation.

The agency had pleaded with Kenya not to close the camps saying the move will only cause more misery to the refugees amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

It asked the East African nation to hold on until suitable and sustainable solutions are found, noting the notice was extremely short.

UNHCR further committed to supporting Kenya’s government in continuing and further strengthening the ongoing work to find orderly, sustainable, and respect refugee rights.

“UNHCR is concerned about the impact this decision would have on the protection of refugees in Kenya, including in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue our dialogue with the Kenyan authorities on this issue,” reiterated the agency.

On the other hand, Amnesty International urged Kenya to use its position in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to champion for more resources for refugees and host countries instead of closing.

Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton said the two camps’ closure without an orderly approach that respects human rights would result in a humanitarian disaster.

The two-week ultimatum expired today (Thursday, April 8).

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South Sudan: Covid-19 Vaccine Finally Launched.
April 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

First Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, was vaccinated on, Wednesday, 7 April, 2021, in his office with the AstraZeneca jab vaccine against Covid-19 .Photo credit Press Unit Office of the First Vice President Juba

Juba – South Sudan on Tuesday launched the Covid-19 vaccination exercise in three centers in Juba capital of East Africa’s youngest nation after a week of deliberation within the country’s leadership.

On March 30th, medical doctors made a presentation to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the leadership of the country about the vaccine but the presidency downplayed prospects of  its launching.

But, on Tuesday, South Sudan’s Minister of Health, Elizabeth Acuei officiated a launching at the Juba Teaching Hospital, she became the first government official in the country to take the vaccine. 

The three facilities where the vaccine will initially be available are Juba Teaching Hospital, Giada Military Hospital, and the Police Hospital in Buluk in Juba.

In the coming weeks and months, all frontline health workers in South Sudan will be offered the vaccine through a national vaccination campaign. 

Subsequently, people with co-morbidities and people above 65 years of age will also be offered the vaccine.

Speaking to journalists during the vaccine launch, Minister Elizabeth Achuei reassured that the vaccine is safe.

Minister Achuei said  “the aim of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine is to protect the prioritized groups against COVID-19”.The vaccination is targeting health care workers as well as persons aged 65 years and older, given their increased risk of severe disease and death due to a potential COVID-19 infection.”

“Do not be afraid, I just took it now. So there is nothing really to be afraid about,” minister said.

South Sudan aims at vaccinating 40 per cent of its population against COVID-19.

The COVAX facility has committed to providing half of the required doses meaning 732,000 doses in total. 

Therefore, the vaccination must be done in phases as the vaccines arrive.

“This is a significant moment for the people of South Sudan. “said Patience Musanhu, Gavi Senior Country Manager for South Sudan. “By protecting the most vulnerable groups, we can save lives, take pressure off health systems and ease the economic burden brought on by the pandemic.”

A person being vaccinated with the Astra Zeneca vaccine requires two doses to ensure optimal immune response against the COVID-19 virus. 

The COVID-19 vaccination in South Sudan will be provided on a voluntary basis and free of charge.  All people receiving the vaccine will be asked to consent prior to being vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 vaccination marks an important step towards control of COVID-19 in South Sudan, which pose a threat to our well-being”, said Dr Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Representative to South Sudan. “Safe, effective, and quality vaccines for COVID-19 are our best hope for bringing the pandemic under control, together with other public health interventions, such as physical distancing, washing hands and mask use”.

Over several months, COVAX partners have supported governments and partners, particularly in low-income countries including South Sudan, to prepare for the vaccination roll-out. 

This includes assisting with the development of national vaccination plans, supporting cold chain infrastructure, as well as stockpiling of half a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for health workers to start vaccinating priority groups as soon as possible.

“If there is one lesson we can draw from the pandemic, it is that we need more partnerships like these in the world,” said the UNICEF South Sudan Representative Hamida Lasseko. “UNICEF is proud to have made vaccine deliveries all over the world including South Sudan on behalf of COVAX. Children in South Sudan are now safer because the warm hands of health workers are safer through vaccination.

Minister Achuei further commended the health ministry’s partners such as UNICEF and WHO for their continuous support to combat Covid-19 in the restive country.

In his statement to the press during the vaccine launch in Juba on Tuesday, the World Health Organization Country representative in South Sudan, Dr. Fabian Ndenzako said he was excited to witness the launch.

The health body further advised the public to continue practicing safety measures even after taking the vaccine.

This is the first time the country rolls out the vaccine since receiving the first batch of its 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility on March 25.

They are part of the 2.4 million doses South Sudan requested from COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, known as COVAX.

The jabs will also be put in the arms of people with underlying conditions such as cancer, asthma, and heart disease, among others.

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South Sudan: WFP Cuts Food Rations Due To Funding Gaps
April 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Food distribution in Pieri, South Sudan.Photo WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua

Juba – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says it is cutting food rations for refugees and internally displaced people in the East Africa’s youngest nation due to significant funding gaps.

The rations will be reduced from this month and affect nearly 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people who will now receive 50 percent of a full ration, down from 70 percent. A full ration provides 2,100 kilocalories per person and 50 percent is 1,050 kilocalories.

A WFP food ration includes cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and salt.

“It is a very painful decision to take from the hungry to give to the starving, but this is the reality; because of the alarming rise of food insecurity in remote locations, WFP has to reduce the size of its rations in some communities, including refugees and internally displaced people, who are in a less precarious situation,” said Matthew Hollingworth, WFP Representative and Country Director in South Sudan, in the press release on Thursday.

WFP’s resources in South Sudan are stretched thin at a time when levels of food insecurity are at their highest in a decade and donors are grappling with the economic impact of COVID-19 .

“We must try to save the lives of those likely to face famine during the lean season if they do not receive sufficient assistance. WFP simply does not have enough resources to provide full rations to all of those in South Sudan who rely on our assistance to survive,” said Hollingworth.

The UN Food agency further said it immediately needs US$125 million for its food assistance operations for the next six months to provide food in sufficient quantities, including larger food rations for refugees and the displaced

The impacted populations include some 440,000 internally displaced people in Bentiu, Bor, Juba, Malakal, Mingkaman and Wau as well as nearly 260,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Sudan, who rely on WFP assistance to meet most of their food needs.

These cuts are likely to lead to higher rates of malnutrition and anaemia, stunted child growth and people resorting to survival strategies. People who struggle to meet their basic food needs cope by skipping or reducing meals, taking loans with high interest, selling assets, and using child labour. There is often also increased domestic violence when people are in this situation.

“We know how hard it is for vulnerable people who struggle every day to survive and provide for their children. By introducing these reductions now, WFP is making sure that all refugees and displaced people will continue to receive our food assistance albeit in smaller quantities.”

In the press statement, added the WFP will not reduce nutrition assistance for mothers and children who are refugees or internally displaced; WFP provides especially nutritious food to treat and prevent malnutrition in pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as children between six months and two years of age.

In 2021, food insecurity in South Sudan is alarmingly high. The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment warned that 7.24 million people will face severe acute hunger at the height of the lean season in July, while 1.4 million children will be acutely malnourished.

WFP is prioritizing 10 hard-to-reach counties where food insecurity is dire, and people are in emergency or catastrophic levels of hunger. These include; Pibor, Akobo, Tonj North, Tonj South, Tonj East, Aweil South, Bor South, Twic East, Duk and Ayod.

Every year, WFP reaches more than five million food-insecure people in South Sudan with food assistance, nutrition support, cash stipends and livelihoods opportunities to build the resilience of communities–prioritizing the most vulnerable and conflict-affected women, children, and the elderly.

The 2018 peace process remains fragile, despite the warring parties having registered some positive progress since the formation of the revitalized transitional government of national unity in February 2020.

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Kenya in race to curb the acute shortage of oxygen
April 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Last month Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe declared the shortage of oxygen in various hospitals across the country

Kenya has installed measures to ensure a steady supply of oxygen in its hospitals.

The country’s Ministry of Health Thursday announced the “Oxygen Task Force” formation to handle the gas cylinder shortage amid the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry noted it is working with partners and suppliers to address the acute shortage.

The Taskforce has identified service, maintenance, operation, and piping as the requirement, added the Ministry.

” All suppliers are working hard to address the shortage and ensure that the oxygen is available,” the Ministry said via a post on Twitter.

  Last month Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe declared the shortage of oxygen in various hospitals across the country as the number of Covid-19 patients increase.

According to Mutahi, the oxygen demand has more than doubled to 880 tons a month from 410 tons before the pandemic.

Kagwe pleaded with individuals, hospitals, and other institutions holding onto cylinders to release them immediately to avert the looming crisis.

“There are about 20,000 oxygen cylinders out there in homes and other institutions which are required back in the industry immediately. I appeal to all Kenyans to return oxygen cylinders immediately so that companies can use them to supply oxygen to hospitals,” said Kagwe noting that each cylinder costs roughly ksh40, 000 (About $400).

Kenya has 73 oxygen plants, but some of these plants face several challenges, including the Production of oxygen with lower than recommended concentration levels, said Kagwe.

Following the announcement, a steel manufacturing company, Devki Group, offered to give free oxygen to both private and public hospitals. Devki Group Chairman Narendra Raval said the hospitals are required to bring cylinders for exchange.

As of April 7, 236 patients were reported to be in the ICU, fifty-three of them being on ventilators and more than a hundred under supplementary oxygen.

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Mozambique:We have asked for foreign military help, says Nyusi
April 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

President Filipe Nyusi

The government has told other countries its needs for fighting terrorism and is evaluating those needs, President Filipe Nyusi has said. Speaking yesterday, Nyusi did not go into details about what help had been requested, but said that Mozambicans had to lead the fight.

The president warned that it was divisive to attribute the terrorists’ actions to Islam, saying that they did not represent Islamic values and that Muslims were also among their victims.

Nyusi acknowledged that the war would not be won only through military means and that employment and occupation of young people were also important.

Nyusi also announced that his government has launched a thorough investigation into alleged human rights violations by members of the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) fighting insurgents in Cabo Delgado.

Such abuses would not be tolerated, “and appropriate measures will be taken,” against those found guilty, he said in a speech to the country.

The trust and cooperation of the population was essential to win the war against this insurgency, as it had been during the war of independence, he said, adding that all soldiers received instruction in ethics as part of their military training.

The human rights campaign group Amnesty International this week reiterated its demand for the investigation of possible human rights abuses by the armed forces in Cabo Delgado province.

So far, all actors in the conflict – the FDS, private security firms, mercenary troops and the insurgents – have acted with “total impunity,” according to Amnesty International.

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Mozambique: Looking to its Past for Lasting Peace
April 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Arlene J. Schar and Dr. David Leffler*

Map of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique.Source Amnesty International

The government of Mozambique has taken many approaches to end conflict and encourage economic development in the past fifty years. Colonial independence, nationalization, villagization, and Marxism were all tried, with accompanying political upheavals, civil war, and massacres. Peace and economic stability was finally reached in the 1990’s, under the newly elected democratic government. Former Mozambique President Alberto Joachim Chissano credited the sustained peace and resulting economic development to the implementation of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) under the Mozambique military and police.

IDT is a brain based technology which utilizes the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) techniques. Hundreds of scientific studies have been conducted at more than 200 independent universities and research institutions, published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals. These studies confirm that regular practice of TM produces major increases in calmness, happiness, creativity, energy, and clarity of mind. Over six million people worldwide of all religions, cultures and ages have learned TM and experience these benefits.

When sufficient numbers practice TM, and particularly the more advanced TM-Sidhi program in large groups together, a powerful field effect of coherence and peace is generated. This effect spills over into the surrounding population. This field effect has been substantiated by extensive research published in the following refereed journals: Alcoholism Treatment QuarterlyInternational Journal of NeuroscienceJournal of Conflict ResolutionJournal of Crime and JusticeJournal of Mind and BehaviorJournal of Offender RehabilitationJournal of Social Behavior and PersonalityPsychological ReportsPsychology Crime and LawSocial Indicators ResearchSocial Science Perspectives JournalSociety of Neuroscience Abstracts, and Studies in Asian Social Science.

This field effect was demonstrated in 1993, when over 4000 TM experts gathered in Washington, DC as a “National Demonstration Project to Reduce Violent Crime and Improve Governmental Effectiveness in Washington.” As predicted, research published in Social Indicators Research showed that crime dropped 24% and public approval of the US president suddenly changed from a negative trend to a positive trend.

Research indicates that such calming effects can also be created on a national level. A recent study published in Studies in Asian Social Science showed that large group practice of these programs in Cambodia between 1993 and 2008 was associated with a 96.2% decline in sociopolitical violence in that war-torn country compared to violence in the preceding three years. The authors conclude the likelihood this reversal in the rising 1990–1992 trend of violence occurred randomly was one chance in 10 million. Other published research has shown that after advanced TM was applied, Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates averaged 8.9%, and poverty was reduced by 63% between 1994 and 2008. By 2010 Cambodia was ranked 63rd out of 152 countries on the international scale of poverty, an unprecedented jump of 89 places in less than one generation.

After Mozambique’s implementation of IDT, a study published in Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace documented these positive changes in Mozambique. Unfortunately, once President Alberto Joachim Chissano left office, cynics dismissed IDT as being the most important conveyor of such positive changes, resulting in the disbanding of the military and police IDT coherence-creating groups.

Today Mozambique faces a daunting task: uniting the country in the midst of a raging pandemic with its resulting economic devastation and societal discord; all overshadowed by the recent specter of Islamist insurrection.


It would be wise at this time for Mozambique to again establish IDT coherence-creating groups to deploy this simple and cost-effective approach and thereby create national unity and lasting peace. Any large group of experts trained in the advanced TM techniques could produce these results. The groups could be comprised of military units, congregations at places of worship, prisoners, the elderly in retirement homes, even students as was done in Cambodia. The important factor is that the techniques be performed by trained TM experts consistently in groups twice a day. Simply by doing this Mozambique’s current high societal tensions could again be eradicated.

Violence has historically been the response to national differences, despite its costs both in financial and human terms. What Mozambique needs now is for its leaders to recognize that there is a more effective proven way to resolve differences. TM is that scientifically-verified approach, and now is the time for Mozambique’s leaders to again utilize IDT to dissolve high political tensions, improve the economy and create lasting peace.

*About the Authors:

*Arlene J. Schar has served as Dr. Leffler’s Executive Assistant at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) since 2015. She has edited and co-authored many of Dr. Leffler’s articles.

Dr. David Leffler served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director at CAMS.

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U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 Launches: Promotes U.S. Role as Primary Investor in African Energy
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

The multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions

The U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 – organized by Africa Oil & Power, in partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee – will foster alignment between U.S. and African governments’ energy policies and highlight African oil, gas, power and renewable projects across the energy value chain for U.S. investors; the multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions that drive long-term policy formation and project execution; the in-person, two-day summit and gala dinner will be hosted in Houston, Texas (October 4-5, 2021) and an online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. (July 12).

Africa Oil & Power (AOP) (www.AfricaOilAndPower.com) and the African Energy Chamber are excited to announce the launch of the first-ever U.S. Africa Energy Forum (USAEF). This event aims to create deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Africa on energy policy, to reach alignment on long term sustainability goals, to stimulate greater American investment in the African oil, gas and power sectors, and to engage and reposition the U.S. as the primary partner of choice for African energy developments. 

Under the theme “New Horizons for U.S. Africa Energy Investment” the forum will explore diverse foreign investment and export opportunities across the continent, including natural gas as a vital fuel for the energy transition; energy storage and battery minerals; Africa’s place in global energy supply chains; the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area; evolving energy technologies and how they relate to the future role of petroleum resources; and on-and off-grid power developments. 

An online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, building up to the in-person U.S. Africa Energy Forum summit and gala dinner, to be hosted in Houston, Texas, on October 4-5, 2021. Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber invite all U.S.-based companies with an interest in engaging with African industry leaders and project developers to participate in the USAEF Houston summit.

This initiative comes at an important juncture in U.S.-Africa relations. The Biden Administration’s announcements of its intentions to proactively build a stronger U.S.-Africa partnership coincides with the fact that African projects are seeing rising interest from U.S. companies and lending institutions alike. The USAEF event is thus dedicated to enabling dialogue between its participants that advances these developments.

“Our mission has always been to showcase the resource potential that Africa has to offer while at the same time showing its growing preference for sustainable energy policies and technologies. Toward that end, we hope it becomes evident that Africa does not just want investment capital: it wants smart capital and an accompanying partnership with the investors,” says James Chester, Senior Director of Africa Oil & Power. “The U.S. Africa Energy Forum represents the first-of-its-kind opportunity to catalyze U.S. participation in Africa’s energy transformation – via technology, policy support, capital injection and skills development – and turns a new page in the chapter on global energy investment.” 

In partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee, AOP will introduce American companies to African opportunities and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy and other sectors by U.S. organizations. 

“The rise in support from the U.S. to the continent is a credit to Africa itself, which is increasingly viewed as a favored destination for global investors, multilaterals and export credit agencies,” says Jude Kearney, President of Kearney Africa and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration. “Africa continues to command a healthy share of global FDI in oil and gas industries. It has for decades shown that investment in those sectors is favorable compared to other jurisdictions and can be successful by many measures. Even as Africa and the rest of the world wrestles with a global pandemic, Africa’s energy sector shows vitality and resiliency – not only in hydrocarbons but in regard to new opportunities in mining, liquefied natural gas, and agriculture.”

Both African governments and private sector sponsors of African energy projects value highly the combination of investment and partnership that US investors famously convey. The USAEF seeks to enable successful partnerships between its participants such that the energy development goals of U.S. investors and strategic partners and their African counterparts can be achieved.

To find out more on opportunities for U.S.-African energy investment and cooperation, as well as information on the inaugural U.S. Africa Energy Forum, please visit www.AfricaOilAndPower.com and to participate in the USAEF, reach out directly to Senior Director James Chester at james@africaoilandpower.com.

*SOURCE Africa Oil & Power Conference

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Kenya: 370,000 vaccinated already for Covid -19
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta took the #Covid19Vaccine at State House, Nairobi.PHOTO/STATEHOUSE-KENYA

Kenya has now administered the Covid-19 vaccine to 370,000 people, announced the Ministry of Health.

The country is aiming to have 16 million people inoculated by June 2022.

In early March, Kenya received the first batch of 1.02 million doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine from the global COVAX initiative meant for the low and middle-income countries.

Minister of Health Mutahi Kagwe said the Ministry is prioritizing medical workers, teachers, police officers, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions.

According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the second batch of the vaccine is expected by the end of April.

Out of the 370,000 people, 279 had severe effects, with seven others experiencing severe symptoms.

Unfortunately, a pregnant woman died after receiving the jab.

A probe has been launched by Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) to unveil what might have killed her.

Deputy Director at PPB Dr. Peter Ikamati said the board would release the report on the incident on Friday.

“What we can say is it was a misreport, an expectant female got a miscarriage, it happened within period of being given vaccine. Miscarriage could have happened, it does not have to be linked to the shot,” he said.

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President Mnangagwa takes shooting strides in climate-change fight to green African Economies.
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu 

President Mnangagwa

President Mnangagwa on Wednesday 6th April addressed African Heads of State, Multi-lateral organisations in climate-change, United Nations Agencies, institutions and the general population on a virtual platform from State-House in Harare calling the World to take action on climate change.

The dialogue organised by the African Development Bank and the Global Centre for Adaptation looked at how Zimbabwe by 2030 can be a Green Economy through the combatting of climate change. The country is driving up the ladder to become a Middle-Income Economy fighting its economic challenges and climate-change.

The dialogue specifically looked at covid-19 impact on climate change mitigation report. Countries of the World remain on the edges in terms of their economies Gross-Domestic-Product severely affected by climate-Change, a natural phenomenon likely to continue in the covid-19 era.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said for Zimbabwe to become a middle-income –economy, there is need to fight effects of climate-change that remain a draw-back to the whole world especially the developing World.

‘’For the country to achieve a middle income  economy by 2030 there is all need to fight climate-change especially in this covid-19 era it helps reduce the adverse effects .’’

‘’Mitigation and resilience in the face of national adaptation programs remains crucial in this fight to become a green economy by 2030. Countries needs to adapt to climate change then mitigate and become resilient and stronger’’.

     Taking the blame to the West .. ……………………………..

The developing World has faced the striking swipe which President Mnangagwa takes head-on blows blaming the Western World for release of more emissions responsible for climate- change .  Africa has less than 3%  carbon emissions constituting less tons not likely to affect the world . Countries like USA , Canada and China have more gas emissions which affects the world at high rate .

‘’We as a country, we have long term low emissions development strategies. These in turn lower global temperature increase.’ Therefore climate smart Agriculture is important for us to remain vibrant in the fight. At the same time water harvesting and infrastructural development is crucial

 ‘’ Africa that is more affected as developing world yet its emissions are low. The developed world should therefore take the task to help us ‘’.

IMF Intervenes in Climate-Change and Covid-19  multiple effects ………………………………

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Ms Kristalina Georgieva said the organisation will soon release Special Drawing Rights. These are meant to resuscitate economies in the covid-19 era in which economies are severely ravaged by the pandemic.

‘’SDR are International Reserve Assets. They help to supplement member countries official reserves. ’These are held by central banks. They can be exchanged for hard currency with another Central Bank. They are used to determine a country’s credit -worthiness’’

‘’IMF is expected to release US$650 billion worth of SDRs to boost country reserves,’’ she notes.

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Kenya, UK hold meeting in the midst of deteriorating diplomatic relations
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday held talks to deliberate on the Covid-19 travel ban.

In Kenya, the British High Commission revealed through a tweet that the two leaders spoke via phone and agreed on the formation of a joint committee to address the travel restrictions.

“Positive call this morning between UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo. They discussed the strength of our relationship on trade, regional security, and health and agreed to establish a Joint Committee to work together on addressing COVID-19 travel restrictions,” the British High Commission said.

Last week the UK added Kenya to its red list of countries whose members were banned from traveling to the country due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

In a letter to Kenyan Foreign Ministry, the British Commission said the decision was driven by a review of the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the risk of community transmission of COVID- 19 variants.’

In response, Kenya canceled all passenger flights from the UK effective April 9.

In line with Kenya’s government directive, Kenya Airways suspended its flights to the European country until further notice.

Passengers were asked to change bookings for later travels or request a refund with all penalties waived.

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South Sudan Peace Process Remains Fragile – UNMISS Chief
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

UN envoy and head of UNMISS, David Shearer, meeting President Salva Kiir Mayardiit at state house in Juba,February 2019 .Photo courtesy

Juba – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission South Sudan has urged the parties to the 2018 peace deal to speed up implementation of the unresolved tasks in order to achieve permanent peace and stability before elections by 2023.

On the eve of his departure after more than four years as the UN’s top envoy in South Sudan, David Shearer, said that the peace process remains fragile, despite the parties having registered some positive progress since the formation of the revitalized transitional government of national unity in February 2020.

“I urge the people and leaders of South Sudan to remain united and energized to push the peace process forward to fully implement the revitalized agreement and hold elections so communities across the country can finally enjoy true peace and prosperity,” said Shearer.

The national and state’s legislatives are yet to be established.

The UN chief added that the peace process remains fragile and there is still much to be done.

“While important progress has been made, the peace process remains fragile and there is still much to be done including picking up the pace on constitution-making, transitional justice and economic reform,” Shearer told journalists in Juba during his farewell speech.

Mr. Shearer will soon be replaced by South African Nicholas Haysom who was appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Jan. 15.

“I have been extremely privileged to support South Sudan as it makes the difficult transition from war to recovery and peace. As my four years of service comes to an end, I am proud of the progress that has been made, including the ceasefire, peace deal, formation of a transitional Government and the installation of local leaders in the states,” said Shearer.

“I have so much admiration for the South Sudanese who I have enjoyed working alongside immensely. They are tough, resilient, and remarkably patient. I am inspired by their seemingly endless hope as they fight against huge odds to achieve the much brighter future they deserve,” said David Shearer. “I will miss this young country and wish it well from the bottom of my heart,” he added.

 He said that courageous decisions need to be made to unify the armed forces of all sides.

Shearer encouraged people still living inside the internally displaced person’s (IDP’s) camps to return to their homes.

According to UN agencies, close to one million people are living in IDP and U.N. camps in the country after being displaced during the outbreak of violence in December 2013 and July 2016 renewed violence respectively.

“I am also pleased and encouraged to see that most people who once fled in fear to UN Protection of Civilians Sites have either returned home or are living in newly transitioned displacement camps under the responsibility of the South Sudanese government,” said Shearer.

He called for an end to the brutal inter-communal violence in most affected areas like Warrap and Jonglei.

“I hope that there is an end to the sporadic but brutal violence that we continue to witness in parts of the country like Jonglei and Warrap, so that the communities can have the opportunity to recover and rebuild their lives,” said Shearer.

Shearer further thanked humanitarian workers for their provision of life-saving assistance to millions of people in need.

“Humanitarians are working in remote, difficult and, sometimes dangerous conditions to deliver much-needed support to vulnerable communities across South Sudan. I thank them for their courage in risking their own health and wellbeing to help others,” said Shearer.

Shearer, who paid tribute to the UN agencies which have stood by South Sudan for many years and the almost 20,000 UN peacekeepers who are helping reduce violence and are bringing diverse communities together to reconcile and build peace.

 “UNMISS is a stabilizing force that extends well beyond our physical presence. Our independent surveys have consistently shown that we are welcomed by nearly 80 percent of South Sudanese,” he said. “We are fully committed to securing durable peace by working closely with all political parties alongside regional and international partners.”

UNMISS is also re-focusing its efforts to ensure it is fit-for-purpose in the evolving political and security situation.

“We are redeploying staff and resources to build the capacity of important local institutions, including the courts, the justice system and the national police, and prioritizing technical support for security sector reform as well as the election process. Protection is best done through fair and effective rule of law,” said Shearer.

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Rwanda:Journalists urged to fight genocide ideology as commemoration starts
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Journalists and social media influencers in session with the President Paul Kagame during 25th celebrations of Liberation.

Rwanda Media Commission, a media self-regulatory body had urged journalists and social media users disseminating information to avoid disseminating content that negate, denial or hurt genocide survivors as Rwanda and the World remember victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

The Commemoration week starts on April 7 marking the beginning of hundred days of mourning the victims, a period signaling the 100 days of manslaughter where over one million of innocent lives were lost.

This year, the country commemorates the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi amid COVID-19 pandemic and mourners were urged to honor the fallen relatives while respecting the guidelines put in place by the government to curb the spread of the pandemic.  

The commemoration is being held under the theme: ‘Remember, Unite, Renew”

According to Cleophas Barore, the chairperson of Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) urged journalists to be careful whenever they are working on stories about the commemoration period and avoid anything that can disturb the minds of genocide survivors.

“RMC reminds journalists to be careful during this unusual period of 27th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi, journalists should use real terminologies that do not negate or deny genocide. Those who doubt such terminologies should seek clarifications from the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide,” said Barore in a statement released on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

The media self-regulatory body particularly urged online media outlets and social media users to be careful about the comments they should let out for readers.

“RMC particularly requests online media outlets and journalists using different social media users to disseminate information to be careful and ensure comments that are shared on the published stories do not promote hearted, discrimination and the content that hurt genocide survivors,” he added.

“RMC also uses this opportunity to request institutions organizing Kwibukla activities to facilitate media to get needed information during this commemoration period,” Barore noted.

Genocide ideology and negation remain a threat to unity and reconciliation in Rwanda as those spreading the ideology mainly use social media and media platforms.

Genocide ideology attracts between 5 and 15-year jail sentence if one is found guilty.

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Rwanda’s ambition to phase out greenhouse gases threatening environment
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Juliet Kabera, the Director-General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA)

Over the past few years, Rwanda has committed to phasing out potent greenhouse gases also known as Hydrofluorocarbons that are used in air conditioning as well as refrigeration electronics.

The move, according to environmentalists is believed to protect the environment and reduce 0.5 degree celsius of global warming.

Early in March Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency launched a campaign to increase awareness on the benefits of embracing efficient cooling solutions.

According to Juliet Kabera, the Director-General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) there is a need for cross-sector cooperation increased awareness to phase out potent greenhouse gasses known as Hydrofluorocarbons as well as cooling products that consume excessive electricity.

The campaign focuses on encouraging the public to opt for refrigerators and air conditioners to save energy and money while at the same time protecting the environment.

Available figures indicate that there are an estimated over 88,000 refrigerators in Rwanda, of which an estimated 64,000 are classified as old.

This, environmentalists noted wastes electricity worth approximately Rwf4 billion annually.

“Owning a refrigerator that helps you to keep groceries fresh and pay little for electricity as well as using air conditioners that are energy-saving is a two-fold benefit: you save money and protect the environment,” Kabera said.

The campaign is part of the Rwanda Cooling Initiative (RCOOL) which is implementing a National Cooling Strategy (NCS) on how to cost-effectively switch to sustainable cooling solutions that are consistent with the country’s sustainable development ambitions and its obligations in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The cooling initiative is providing pathways that make it easier and more affordable to buy the latest equipment which are equipped with technologies with less harm on the planet. Enhancing thermal comfort and refrigerated conditions for food and medicines are critical for the health, well-being, and economic development of the country,” Kabera added.

She also challenged the general public who may wish to buy brand-new cooling items to always check their energy consumption and whether they are free of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) gases.

“This is to make sure you also contribute to the protection of the environment,” she noted.

The phasing out strategy  targets users of air conditioners and refrigerators from different settings including homes, offices, grocery stores, bars, hotels, supermarkets among others that can realize significant benefits of more energy-saving and eco-friendly cooling.

In 2016, Rwanda successfully led over 150 nations and states in a historic agreement that sought to avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming caused by substances that deplete the Ozone Layer by the end of the century.

The 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which entered into force in 2019 is an international treaty designed to phase out such powerful climate-warming gases by more than 80 per cent in the next 30 years.

In order to implement the Kigali Amendment, Rwanda enacted the National Cooling Strategy (NCS) in 2019 with the objective of optimizing the growing needs for space conditioning and refrigeration in keeping with Rwanda’s green growth pathway.

The cooling strategy helps roll out standards for cooling technologies.

 According to REMA, the country has currently reduced ozone-depleting substances by 54 per cent in an effort to fully implement the Montreal protocols by 2030.

However, the journey is still long and more efforts are needed in phasing out the substances.

Rwanda has started restricting imports of air pollutant gases used by fridges and air conditioners in the country to encourage the adoption of non-polluting cooling technologies.

An inventory that was carried out by Rwanda Environment Management Authority indicates that there are over 200,000 equipment such as fridges and air conditioners among big users of such climate-warming gases.

To cut the consumption of powerful climate-warming gases used in cooling appliances, Rwanda has drastically reduced, by 54%, the importation of gases known as ‘hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)’ that deplete the ozone layer paving the way for implementing the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

Experts and dealers in cooling appliances have said that thousands of consumers ought to switch to energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigerators and air conditioners to help Rwanda implement Amendment to cut production of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are said to be powerful climate-warming gases.

The 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which entered into force in 2019 is an international treaty designed to phase out such powerful climate-warming gases by more than 80 percent in the next 30 years.

Available environmental-friendly appliances

Jean Paul Nsengiyumva, the proprietor of Cold Air Ltd dealing in the appliances said there are cooling appliances on the domestic market which have both environmental and economic benefits.

“Besides consuming less electricity, they do not pollute the air. Going by an example, if someone used to spend 200 grams of cooling gas, the energy-efficient appliances spend around 80 grams. This means that the less cooling gas used, the less power is consumed,” he said.

Aline Uwase, a restaurant owner in Kigali city said that the old fridge she uses consumes half of the power the whole business consumes.

“The government decision to embrace energy-saving cooling appliances is timely. However, there should be a financing mechanism to help people switch to energy-efficient refrigerators because the upfront cost is high. 

Some people do not have knowledge about these energy-saving and climate-friendly refrigerators,” she said.

Thousands of refrigerators suspected

According to the domestic refrigerating appliance and room air conditioner market and feasibility assessment by Rwanda Cooling Finance Initiative (RCOOL FI), there has been a steady increase in refrigerators in the residential sector since 2012 with an estimated stock of 97,512 refrigerators owned by households in Rwanda as of last year.

Although most of the refrigerators found in households are new with 58.6 per cent bought less than three years ago, there is 36 per cent which are approximately 35,104 households who purchased their refrigerating appliances over four years ago and may still use powerful climate-warming gases, according to the assessment.

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President Kagame calls Rwandans to stand up, fight genocide deniers
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

President Paul Kagame speaking in Commemoration event in Kigali on Wednesday. Village Urugwiro

The president of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame has called all Rwandans especially the youth to stand up and fight genocide denial and those who negate the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi saying that there are would be no shame for that.

The president was speaking during the first day as Rwanda and the World started the week-long commemoration week on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at Kigali Arena in the capital city of Kigali.

The event to start the mark the 27th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was held at Kigali Genocide Memorial where President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame laid a wreath on a mass grave in honour of Genocide victims buried there and lit the flame of remembrance.

Latter, the event continued at the Kigali arena where President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame joined over 500 Rwandans and friends of Rwanda.

The event brought together with top government officials, heads of diplomatic corps as well as groups representatives in in a bid to observe COVID-19 measures.

 Rwandans and friends of Rwanda from across the world started a week-long commemoration period on April 7, 2021, a day marking the start of 100 days of manslaughter where over one million innocent lives were lost.

Rwanda’s commemoration period lasts for 100 days signaling the period the genocide also lasted.

Speaking during the gathering, President Kagame called on all Rwandans and the youth, in particular, to always stand firm and fight the genocide ideology wherever they are saying they are facts without any fear.

“Those are facts, facts of our history, facts about what happened and responsibilities thereof, for those deniers if they have no shame, why should we have fear to fight them,” President Kagame said.

The president went on to say that while it was the 27th commemoration, Rwandans do not take the event for granted.

“It reminds us what has happened, up to now we are still finding bodies of remains of genocide victims, those who committed genocide are still free but that can’t be a reason for us to be held back in sorrow,” he added.

He also urged Rwandans especially genocide survivors to be strong even as the country marks the commemoration period amid the COVID-19 pandemic hailing survivors resilience to build themselves and the nation as a whole.

“The chance to live a better life was welcomed and this is a strong pillar of what makes us stronger. Rwandans are more united, forward-looking today than ever. The youth which constitutes the bigger part of Rwandans are united and strong. Those who want to divide Rwandans have failed and will keep failing,” he added.

“Rwanda may not yet be wealthy or fully healthy and we have vulnerabilities and limitations like any country, but we also know how to deal with our problems, Rwandans are resilient and we are full of purpose and hope,” the president noted.

He said that the gains Rwanda has registered over the past 27 years were tangible and there were signs such as roads, hospitals, water and services among others.

“The intangible transformations are even more important, they allow progress to be sustained from generation to generation, our unity and trust we have in our people and our leadership will continue to grow,” he said.

the head of the state thanked Rwandans for remaining dedicated to the task of unity and reconciliation.

He also thanked friends of Rwandans who have been with Rwanda in the unity and reconciliation journey over the years including countries African countries like Nigeria, Check Republic and others like New Zeeland who stood firm with Rwanda and stick to the truth even when other countries doubted or denied genocide.

“We will always be thankful for those countries around the world,” he said also condemning countries who still refuse to call ‘Genocide against the Tutsi’ the tragedy that befell the country but give it other names such as just genocide, the act of genocide, or killing among others.

“It is surprising that we still have the same discussion 27 years later, it is amazing. Meanwhile specialists and human rights activists remains silent of what could be the danger,” he said calling it Sinicism and hypocrisy that is breathtaking.

Dealing with terror acts

The president said that Rwanda, just like other countries had legitimacy to defend their country and deal with terror acts as well as other issues that may pose a threat.

“Whenever possible we bring those who threaten our security to justice, there are several trials underway in our court involving various armed and violent groups, it is funny because among those there are those living outside protected one way or the other and it is all connected with a story of denial, of distortion and falsification,” he said.

“We cannot afford to allow such acts {of terrorism} of killing innocent people and threaten our economy to be done on our territory ever,” he added.

President hails France’s report on the genocide

President Kagame hailed a detailed report by a team of historians and other experts on the role of France in supporting the planning and execution of the genocide.

He said that France’s government has allowed access  to official archives that had remained a secret.  

Kagame said that the then France government under President Francois Mitterrand knew genocide was being planned by their allies in Rwanda.

“Despite that knowledge, the president {Mitterrand} decided to continue supporting them because he believed it was necessary for France’s geopolitical reasons,” he said.

“We welcome this report because it marks an important step to the common sense of what happened, it also shows the desire from the leaders in France to move forward with a good understanding of what happened,” he said.

 “It is a good thing, Rwanda will have something to say in the near future, maybe in the third week of this {Commemoration} period,” he added.

President also talked about countries that still remain havens of wanted people who committed genocide and are not willing either to try them transfer them to Rwanda to be tried there.

He said that when these genocide suspects are given safe haven and deportation is denied it has the direct consequence of the increased denial and revisionism which will take longer to reverse.

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African Presidents and Global Leaders Support Bold Action On Climate Change Adaptation For Africa.
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments
Africa now faces the dual onslaught of climate change – currently estimated at between $7 billion and $15 billion each year – and Covid-19, which has claimed 114,000 lives




In a historic and united show of solidarity for a continent that contributes only 5% to global emissions, more than 30 heads of state and global leaders committed to prioritize actions that help African countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and “build forward better.”

Africa now faces the dual onslaught of climate change – currently estimated at between $7 billion and $15 billion each year – and Covid-19, which has claimed 114,000 lives. The African Development Bank expects that the impact of climate change on the continent could rise to $50 billion each year by 2040, with a further 3% decline each year in GDP by 2050.

Speaking Tuesday, during a virtual Leaders’ Dialogue convened by the African Development Bank , the Global Center on Adaptation and the Africa Adaptation Initiative, more than 30 heads of state and global leaders rallied behind the bold new Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program . The program’s objective is to mobilize $25 billion to accelerate climate change adaptation actions across Africa.

President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and African Union Chairperson, invited his fellow leaders to: “revisit our climate ambitions and accelerate the implementation of our actions planned under our national priorities. To do this we will need to focus on actions to adapt to the impacts of climate change, these include nature-based solutions, energy transition, enhanced transparency framework, technology transfer and climate finance.”

The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program is built to address the impacts of Covid-19, climate change, and the continent’s worst recession in 25 years. This is why today’s unprecedented show of support for the financing of African adaptation is so significant.

According to Ban Ki-moon, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, “The Covid-19 pandemic is eroding recent progress in building climate resilience and leaving countries and communities more vulnerable to future shocks. Africa must make up for lost ground and lost time. Climate change did not stop because of Covid-19, and neither should the urgent task of preparing humanity to live with the multiple effects of a warming planet.”

President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, and Chair of the African Union-led Africa Adaptation Initiative, spoke of Gabon’s record in emission reductions. He said that Gabon is one of the few countries in the world that is carbon positive. “We have to insist that equal attention be paid to climate adaptation and mitigation in climate finance. Africa calls on the developed nations to shoulder the historic responsibility and to join the program to accelerate the adaptation in Africa,” President Bongo said.

African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said: “With our partners, we intend to mobilize $25 billion in financing for the success of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program. It is time for developed countries to meet their promise of providing $100 billion annually for climate finance. And a greater share of this should go to climate adaptation. So far, more than 20 trillion dollars have gone into Covid-19 stimulus packages in developed countries. The International Monetary Fund’s plan to issue $650 billion of new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to boost global reserves and liquidity will be enormously helpful to support green growth and climate financing for economic recoveryI applaud the leadership of the US government and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, especially, on this big push.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “African nations are showing leadership…The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, and many other ambitious African initiatives, must be empowered to fully deliver on their goals. “

Guterres added: “Universal access to energy in Africa, a priority in the coming years, could be provided primarily through renewable energy. I call for a comprehensive package of support to meet these dual objectives by COP 26. It is achievable, it is necessary, it is overdue, and it is smart.”

Speaking on behalf of US President Joseph R. Biden, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said: “The United States remains a committed development partner for Africa and a huge supporter of the African Development Bank. Africa contributed the least to climate change but is suffering the worst of its effects. I congratulate the African Development Bank and the Global Center for Adaptation for developing the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program. We support the program… to help ensure that together, we can avoid the worst effects of climate change.”

The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, as launched by the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation, revolves around several transformative initiatives:

Climate Smart Digital Technologies for Agriculture and Food Security aims to scale up access to climate-smart digital technologies for at least 30 million farmers in Africa. The African Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator will scale up investment for climate-resilient urban and rural infrastructure in key sectors. These include water, transport, energy, and waste management for a circular economy. Empowering Youth for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Climate Resilience will provide one million youths with skills for climate adaptation and support 10,000 small and medium size youth-led businesses to create green jobs.  Innovative Financial Initiatives for Africa will help close adaptation finance gaps, enhance access to existing finance and mobilize new public and private sector investment.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said: “As well as facing the health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic, countries in Africa are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Tackling this dual challenge requires putting adaptation at the heart of Africa’s recovery – so countries build resilience to climate change and spur economic activity. This pandemic has shown us the importance of investing in people. And that is so, so very valuable for Africa, which has a fast-growing young population. This begins by improving education, healthcare, and food security, and in that context, I warmly welcome the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.”

Speaking on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron, the Chief Executive of the French Development Agency, Remy Rioux said: “Africa is providing solutions to climate change, including the Great Green Wall and the Desert to Power initiative of the African Development Bank to build the world’s largest solar zone in the Sahel of Africa. France fully supports the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.”

Moderating the Leaders’ Dialogue, Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, said: “Africa has a unique opportunity to advance its development exponentially if it invests now in a climate-smart adapted future based on a deep understanding of climate risks and solutions that put nature and people at the center.”

Read the Global Call to Action here

*AfDB

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The “Fallen Hope Of LGBT in GHANA”
April 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Ghana has a mixed record on its treatment of Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. It Criminalizes” unnatural carnal knowledge” in section 104 (1) (b) of its Criminal Offences Act, which the authorities interpret as “penile penetration of anything other than a virgin.” However, the law is a colonial legacy that is rarely, if ever, enforced, and unlike several of its neighbors, Ghana has not taken steps in recent years to stiffen penalties against consensual same-sex conduct or to expressly criminalize sexual relation between women.  At least two government agencies, the Ghana Police Force and the Com

mission on Human Right and Administrative Justice, have reached out to LGBT activists and taken proactive steps, including through providing human right training workshops to help ensure their protection. Nevertheless, LGBT activists are very frequently victims of physical violence and psychological abuse, extortion and discrimination in many different expect of daily lie, because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Since President Akufo-Addo assumed office in January 2017, he has come under tremendous pressure from numerous religious groups to declare his government’s position on homosexuality. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana guarantees a range of fundamental human rights and freedoms to all its citizens. Article 17(1) and (2) guarantees equality before the law and prohibits discrimination on grounds of “gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social economic status. The Constitution guarantees respect for human dignity, protection of personal liberty, and the right to privacy for all. Ghana has ratified all the major regional and international human right treaties and accepted the individual complaints procedures under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right and the inquiry procedure under the Optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women.

Inciting Homophobic Violence

On numerous occasions since 2010 and notably from February 2017, Ghanaians officials have argued that the Ghanaian public is not ready, because of the strong religious beliefs, to accept the decriminalization of same-sex conduct or to guarantee equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the constitution. However, statement being made by some of these some officials feed into public sentiments against homosexuality and protection of the fundamental human right of lesbian and gay people

.  LGBTQI, came on a raise in the country when the European Union representative in Ghana made a post of their support to the LGBTQI newly opened office in Accra, Ghana.  Ghanaians who can and are on social media set it on a blaze, and it has gotten a lot of people including authorities talking and condemning it in our society. The current situation is worrying and to some Ghanaians, it’s better for the presidency to come out and declare its stands on the issues making rounds. Mr. Mosses Foh – Amoaning, a legal practitioner and a sole activist against this LGBTQI stated that, “there are some politicians and other journalists with good standing in our society who are part of this group and unfortunately, they are using them to push their agenda.” Though his claims can not be substantiated but many well-meaning Ghanaians have sided with him and have joined his call.

It’s an undisputable fact that, the LGBTQI has been with us even before the current president was voted in to office. I remember at a point in time, some single sex senior high schools was find that, some students in these institutions are practicing this ungodly acts.  I would like to take you back memory lane, as this issue is concerned. The former president of the republic, the late His excellency John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills was confronted with the same issue immediately after he was sworn in to office. Some section of the Ghanaian populace mounted some pressure on him to come clear on this issue. He listened to the voice of the masses and came out emphatically to say he is not in support of this and wont support it on any day. He believes in the Ghanaian culture and he was voted in to office to protect it. He was eulogized by many Ghanaians here and abroad.

  The current President of the republic, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo has not been left out from this hook. He was confronted with the same issue during his first term of office. In an interview with ALJAZEERA, way back 2019, the president said and I quote, “this issue of LGBT is not currently on our table and is not something we are considering fight now but it has been a global issue which bound to happen in Ghana.” A lot of Ghanaians couldn’t take it lightly and they took the president on. Later, his spoke persons including the Minister of Information came out to explain what the President meant by “its bound to happen.”

Fast forward, this issue left us a bit for some of us to have our peace. Unfortunately, the situation is now stronger than before. they now have well established offices spread across. Some Ghanaians have asked the president to lock down their offices which I think is in order. Some are of the view that, most of their activities are being sponsored by some diplomats inside and outside the country.  Not long ago, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) issued a statement calling on the government to summon all foreign diplomats supporting LGBTQI organization in Ghana (peace FM, summon foreign diplomats supporting LGBTQI in Ghana – GPCC To Govn’t.) in their press stamen, they stated that “ the actions of the LGBTQI movement is also a complete variance with the laws of the God as spelt out in the Holy bible concerning God’s plan of creation and the sanctity of marriage between woman and a man as ordained by God.”

Some ministers have joined the call that, the government will put everything in place in order to prevent these people from operating in Ghana. All these shows how wounded most Ghanaians are. Some lawyers including a former legislature of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Honourable Inusah Fuseini has said, its time Ghana recognize the existence of their right. According to him, the gay rights is now a human right issue which we have to recognize. CDD’s Mr. H. Kwasi Prempeh said, “I am free to advocate the abolition or repeal of a certain criminal statute, does my right to such advocacy, which is a form of permissible free speech, become unlawful merely because I have joined together or associated with another person or other persons to pursue that same advocacy and other related issues of mutual interest? Aren’t others just as free to brand together in counter – advocacy in support of the status quo?” he asked all these to justify the advocacy of LGBTQI based on human right grounds in Ghana.

Many Ghanaians are not happy about he loud silence of the Civil Society Organizations. Some are of the view that, most their activities are being funded by the LGBTQI group and they can not speak against their pay masters. It’s a mere allegation but a lot of Ghanaians are still worried and are calling for reasons behind that silence. A group of one hundred and two Ghanaians feminists have become the last group to add their voice to the growing support for the recognition of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and sexual identities in Ghana. Finally, President of the republic, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo has ordered the closure of the office of the LGBTQI. Addressing a church congregation the President made the announcement of not accepting of LGBTQI in the country and never will that happen under his watch as the president of the Republic of Ghana!

*Culled from March Issue of PAV Magazine

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Kenya told to advocate for more resources at the United Nations Security Council
April 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton.Photo courtesy

Amnesty International has also joined the UNHCR in calling Kenya to reconsider its decision to close Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps.

Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton noted that Kenya should use its position in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to champion for more resources for refugees and host countries instead of closing the said camps.

Houghton said that the two camps’ closure without an orderly approach that does not undermine human rights would result in a humanitarian disaster.

He added that it is still unsafe for the refugees to return to their countries of origin or other countries for resettlement.

“Conflict in Somalia and Ethiopia, pre and post-election violence in Uganda and Tanzania as well as the persecution of LGBTI+ communities in Uganda and elsewhere makes voluntary return safe and dignified untenable for most refugees,” Irũngũ Houghton.

According to the director, the international community undermines Kenya’s capacity to provide safety and sanctuary for refugees by inadequate humanitarian funding.

Therefore, he called on wealthier nations led by the new US administration to share responsibility fairly by expanding adequate opportunities for third-country resettlement, mass Covid-19 vaccination programs and encourage calls by communities to host refugees.

He also challenged Kenya and UNHCR to consider reviewing the encampment approach with regional and international best practices.

The Kenyan government, on March 23, issued a 14-day ultimatum to announce a plan for the closure of the camps.

Kenya’s Interior Minister, Dr Fred Matiang’i, cited security threats and strain on the country’s resources.

The two-week ultimatum expires on Thursday, and all eyes are on the Kenyan Government and the UNHCR to see what will transpire. 

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